SIMON HARPER MSc CBP (Distinction) PG Dip BA (Hons) BABCP Accredited



"Meanings are not determined by situations, but we determine ourselves by the meanings we give to situations" Alfred Adler

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy ( CBT ) aims to modify thinking processes in order to enable emotions, behaviours and the underlying problem to change. It would though be wrong to assume that CBT focuses only on thoughts, as the most important element is working with emotion. Examining thoughts helps to access the emotion. Beck, the founder of Cognitive Therapy stated long ago that emotion is the key to successful therapy.

The aim of CBT is to understand your problems in a highly individualised way, so we can assess how an event is being appraised and why you feel like you do. The link between thoughts, emotions and behaviours is examined, with particular focus on core beliefs, i.e. what you believe about yourself, others and the world.

So, does CBT work? Well, there is strong evidence for CBT and in 2001 a document was produced by the Department of Health entitled 'Treatment choice in psychological therapies and counselling: Evidence-based practice guidelines' in which over 325 clinical trials of CBT were itemised. CBT was found to be especially helpful for depression and certain anxiety disorders.

Different techniques or interventions are selected depending on what problems you bring to therapy. Recently, with the introduction of the 'third wave', there are now even more techniques to choose from. Mindfulness and acceptance strategies emphasise changing the relationship to our thoughts rather than trying to change or challenge a thought. I have also trained in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy ( MBCT ) and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy ( ACT ). I am a professional member of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science ( ACBS ).

Lastly, the advent of Emotion-Focused Cognitive Therapy ( EFCT ) has seen a profound shift where emotion is central to the process of change ( Power 2010 ). Trauma expert Van der Kolk states that one of the most important issues in psychotherapy is learning to tolerate, approach, befriend and nurture one's deepest emotions. 


  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Anger issues
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Assertiveness issues
  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Childhood sexual abuse ( CSA )
  • Complex trauma
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Low self-esteem
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder ( OCD )
  • Panic disorder
  • Perfectionism
  • Phobias
  • Post traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD )
  • Relationship issues
  • Self harm
  • Sleep problems
  • Social anxiety
  • Stress
  • Worry


"Thank you so much for your help and support over the past year. It seems mad that I had a whole lifetime of misery and within a year I'm better. You have enabled me to become the 'real' me at last and I know from your support, I am now able to be content with myself. I know that this will not only be beneficial to me but also for my family. I know you say I did the work, but me doing this was only possible because I had your help and support." - Stacey